NO. 10 BULLDOGS HEADED FOR SHOWDOWN WITH NO. 1 MINNESOTA IN MINNEAPOLIS THIS WEEKEND
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
When a team is playing as well as the No. 10 University of Minnesota Duluth is right now, the only thing left to do is get on the ice with the red-hot defending NCAA champions. The Bulldogs will do just that this weekend as they head to Minneapolis, Minn. to face the No. 1 University of Minnesota and its NCAA record 34-win streak. Both games will be held at Ridder Arena, with Friday’s contest set for 6:00 pm and Saturday’s game slated to begin at 2:30 pm.
UMD VS MINNESOTA NOTES
THE SERIES: UMD is 24-34-6 all-time against the Gophers -- the one team in all of the NCAA that the Bulldogs remain sub .500 against. UMD has gone 4-11-1 since beating Minnesota in the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four semifinals at Ridder Arena back on March 4, 2010.
While the Gophers swept UMD back on Nov. 2-3 at AMSOIL Arena, neither the Bulldogs or Minnesota has ever been able to complete a regular season sweep over the other program in their extensive histories.
The UMD squad that hits the ice this weekend will look very different than the banged-up crew that suited up for the Gophers back in November. The Bulldogs were without senior forward Pernilla Winberg and Aleksandra Vafina for the entire series, and despite attempting to play injured forward Audrey Cournoyer for a few shifts, UMD was only able to front three lines of offense.
The scoreboard was no indicator on Nov. 2 of how close the game was in UMD’s 4-1 loss to Minnesota. The contest was scoreless until the middle of the second period, when the Gophers were able to break open the game with three goals in about four minutes, including two 30 seconds apart. Jamie Kenyon had the lone tally for the Bulldogs at 6:06 of the third period to cut the Minnesota lead to 3-1. Minnesota used two power play goals to beat UMD goaltender Kayla Black, who made 23 saves and was barely outshot in the contest 27-24.
The Bulldogs just could not solve Gopher netminder Noora Raty the following night (Nov. 3) and a three-shot first period and four-shot second period didn’t help matters much. UMD dropped the skate 4-0, and it was Raty’s second shutout in her last four games against the Bulldogs.
UMD has struggled in Ridder Arena since it opened during the 2002-03 season, having gone just 7-17-3.
LAST TIME OUT: UMD extended its current unbeaten streak to 10 games with a sweep of then ranked No. 9/10 Ohio State University by scores of 7-5 and 3-2.
The Bulldogs scorched the Buckeyes last Friday (Jan. 25) in Columbus with a five-point outburst from sophomore blueliner Brigette Lacquette, who netted three goals to go with two assists in UMD’s 7-5 win. Senior Jessica Wong added a goal and three assists, while sophomore Zoe Hickel scored a goal and two helpers.
Hickel, Brienna Gillanders and Jenna McParland scored for UMD on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 26) in the Bulldogs 3-2 triumph. Goaltender Kayla Black made 56 saves in the series.
NOTES FROM THE OHIO STATE SERIES: The Bulldogs are now 50-9-4 against the Buckeyes all-time and split the regular season 2-2 with OSU. UMD has won only more games against Bemidji State (56) then it has over the Buckeyes all-time.
--Owners of the nation’s third-longest unbeaten string, the Bulldogs 10-game unbeaten streak is the longest UMD has gone without a loss since it rattled off 10 consecutive wins to round out the regular season in 2010-11. The Bulldogs six-straight wins is also the most wins UMD has recorded in a row since the end of the 2010-11 season. UMD has outscored opponents 38-15 over the current streak that started on Dec. 1.
--Seven or more players have recorded a point in UMD’s last five games, including eight or more players turning in at least a point in four of those skates.
--Last weekend’s sweep was the sixth of the year for the Bulldogs. UMD had a total of six series sweep in all of last season.
--Brigette Lacquette’s five-point outing last Friday (three goals, two assists) was the first time a UMD player has registered five points in a single game this season. It also marks the first five-point performance since Haley Irwin and Audrey Cournoyer each hit the mark on Dec. 3, 2011 against St. Cloud State. Cournoyer had a two goal, three assist performance while Irwin went for broke with a goal and six assists for seven points.
--Besides Lacquette, one other player had a career-high performances last Friday -- sophomore winger Zoe Hickel had three points on a goal and two assists.
--The Bulldogs are now .500 against teams that were ranked in the top-10 when UMD played them with a record of 5-5-2.
THREE FOR THE SHOW: It has been six games -- all wins -- for the Bulldogs since head coach Shannon Miller moved senior Jessica Wong to forward to play with junior Jamie Kenyon and sophomore Jenna McParland, and by the look of it, appears to be working.
UMD has outscored its opponents 28-10 since the new line was formed, and Wong’s addition has certainly had an impact on those numbers.
Wong has compiled four goals and five assists for nine points in her last six games, including three games where she posted two or more points. McParland has netted three goals and six helpers for nine points, and like Wong has had three multiple-point efforts in half of her last six skates. Kenyon has scored five goals as well as added an assist for six points, and twice scored two goals in a game with her new line.
Prior to the leap up front, Wong had anchored UMD’s backline for 83 games, and ranks as the Bulldogs’ fourth all-time scorer with 77 points (29-49=77) in 83 skates as a defenseman. Wong became the program’s all-time goal scoring defenseman last season as a junior.
LACQUETTE BY THE NUMBERS: What has Brigette Lacquette done in the wake of Jessica Wong's move from the defensive corp? She has exploded offensively, putting up nine points, including four goals in her last six outings. Prior to Wong’s departure, Lacquette had compiled eight points, with two goals and six assists over 18 games.
Besides 17 points overall (6g, 11a), Lacquette is +12 so far on the season. Perhaps her biggest fight is staying out of the penalty box-- Lacquette leads UMD with 19 infractions for 38 minutes worth of time in the box, inlcuding eight called over the past six games.
RECORD BOOK WATCH: Katie Wilson alredy became the fourth player on the current Bulldog squad to tap 100 points in her career, but she is also very close to etching her name into another UMD record book.
Wilson, along with classmate Jessica Wong, have also played in 133 career games, just two skates shy of cracking into the 10th most games played in UMD program history with 135.
100 TIMES FOUR: For the fourth time in Bulldog program history, four current players with 100 career points are all on the same squad.
When Katie Wilson added her name to the list on Jan. 18, she joined fellow seniors Jessica Wong, Pernilla Winberg and Audrey Cournoyer in the elite club. Wong currently ranks as UMD’s 13 all-time scorer with 118 points (47g, 71a), 77 scored as a defensman. Winberg rings in at No. 14 all-time, having now scored 43 goals and dished 66 assists for 109 points. Wilson owns 101 career points (37g, 64a) and sits in the 17th slot with Cournoyer.
Cournoyer reached the milestone as a junior but has missed all but five games this season due to a career-ending injury. Cournoyer compiled 46 goals and 55 assists in just 116 skates.
The 2012-13 quartet joins only the fourth Bulldog squad to have four-100 point members on its roster. The last UMD quartet with that distinction was the 2010-11 team, which included then junior forward Haley Irwin with 152 points (63g, 89a) and seniors Elin Holmlov with 170 points (67g, 103a), Laura Fridfinnson with 156 points (75g, 81a) and blueliner Jocelyne Larcocque, who owned 105 points (19g, 86a) in just three and a half seasons.
MILLER’S NEW MILESTONES: Bulldog head coach Shannon Miller, currently in her 14th season behind the bench of UMD, is inching closer to some new milestones.
Miller, who currently owns an overall record at UMD of 347-109-38, is just three victories shy of reaching 350 wins. Already the third-winningest coach in NCAA Division I history, only one other coach has currently reached 350 victories -- Katey Stone from Harvard, who has had 18 seasons to reach 378-164-32.
Miller is also now just six games away from her 500th game at the helm of the Bulldogs.
BULLDOG NOTES: Sophomores Zoe Hickel and Jenna McParland have alternated leading UMD in scoring all season, so it’s only fitting they both currently lead the Bulldogs with 20 points in 23 games...HIckel has 10 goals and 10 assists, while McParland has eight goals and 12 helpers...Senior Jessica Wong is third in scoring with 19 points, six goals and 13 assists in 24 games...Junior Jamie Kenyon is second in goal-scoring with nine tallies...Only two goaltenders have logged more minutes than UMD rookie Kayla Black and also own a goals against average of under two goals...Black has played 1340:11 minutes for the Bulldogs with a 1.97 GAA...Black is tied for fifth in the nation with four shutouts...UMD currently sits as the third most penalized team in the NCAA with an average 11.7 minutes spent a game in the box...Brigette Lacquette has picked up the most penalties (19) on UMD’s squad, but junior forward Brienna Gillanders leads he team in minutes with 54 minutes on 16 infractions...UMD has increased its goals per game average by .64 in 2013...To start the second half of the season, UMD was averaging 2.11 goals per game but is now at 2.75.
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